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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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Meir Shahar

Shaolin Kung Fu and the Paradox of Intangible Cultural Heritage

      Su Xiaoyan. 2016. “Reconstruction of Tradition: Modernity, Tourism and Shaolin Martial Arts in the Shaolin Scenic Area, China.” The International Journal of the History of Sport. Vol. 33 No. 9, 934-950.     Introduction   Both state... Continue Reading →

Bodhidharma: Historical Fiction, Hyper-Real Religion and Shaolin Kung Fu

    ***For the Friday post we will be revisiting a classic (and very popular) article from the archives.  I originally posted this essay almost two years ago and recently I have found myself thinking about it again.  It will... Continue Reading →

Invulnerability in the Chinese Martial Arts: Meir Shahar on the Origins of the “Iron-Cloth Shirt” and “Golden-Bell Armor”

    Meir Shahar. “Diamond Body: The Origins of Invulnerability in the Chinese Martial Arts” in Perfect Bodies: Sports Medicine and Immortality, Edited by Vivienne Lo. London: British Museum, 2012. Introduction: The Significance of Invulnerability in the Chinese Martial Arts... Continue Reading →

Five Moments that Transformed Kung Fu

    Introduction   I was recently having a conversation with T. W. Smith who runs the Kung Fu Podcast. He was developing an idea for a show and asked me what five specific moments did the most to transform... Continue Reading →

Ji Gong: The Adventures of a Mad Monk in Chinese Martial Arts Fiction

Guo Xioting. Trans. John Robert Shaw. Adventures of the Mad Monk Ji Gong. Rutland VT: Tuttle. 2014. 542 Pages. Introduction: Meeting Crazy Ji Inscription on the Sarira Relics of the Recluse from the Lake, Elder Fangyuan (Square-Circle), Jidian (Crazy Ji)... Continue Reading →

Bodhidharma: Historical Fiction, Hyper-Real Religion and Shaolin Kung Fu

  Introduction I was recently exchanging emails with a martial arts instructor and reader who suggested that I address the historical facts behind the “Bodhidharma myth.” This is a critical topic for anyone interested in either the historical or cultural... Continue Reading →

Is Martial Studies Doomed to Disappoint? A Reader Response.

By Stanford Chiou This post is my contribution to the recent discussion at Kung Fu Tea on the place of theory in martial studies (see here and here). There is no escaping the assumptions—or “theories”—on which perspectives are built, and... Continue Reading →

From the Archives: A Really Short Reading List on Chinese Martial Studies.

Introduction As I mentioned over at the Facebook group, I need to take a week off from Kung Fu Tea.  My father, who is also a college professor, is recovering from surgery and has asked to me cover some of... Continue Reading →

David Palmer on writing better martial arts history and understanding the sources of “Qi Cultivation” in modern Chinese popular culture.

  Catching Qigong Fever. I have read my fair share of books on religion in late imperial and modern China.  Unfortunately I had been neglecting a classic.  In 2007 David Palmer released a volume titled Qigong Fever: Body, Science and... Continue Reading →

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